Media Localizer ZOO Digital Guides for Better-than-Expected FY 2021 Results

On January 26, 2021, media localization provider ZOO Digital published a trading update and outlook for the company’s 2021 financial year, which ends March 31, 2021.

UK-listed ZOO said it expects full-year revenues of at least USD 38m, up around 28% from the year prior (USD 29.8m), and ahead of market expectations.

ZOO reported a strong start to its financial year back in November 2020. First-half growth came from a spike in demand for remote dubbing, as Covid-19 lockdowns disrupted the in-studio dubbing supply chain; and from the localization of back catalog content, which sustained demand while new productions were halted.

In this latest update, ZOO reported accelerated growth in the second half. They also observed that the trend of back catalog-related demand for digital distribution services had continued, but would likely scale back once new productions resume in earnest.

The company highlighted several tailwinds in the media localization space, pointing out that “some new productions have restarted more recently” — which should lead to an uptick in demand for subtitling — and that major industry players have expanded budgets. Moreover, streaming platforms are beginning to source content from a wider pool of international producers, ZOO said.

ZOO’s growth throughout 2020 and beyond comes against the backdrop of a shifting supplier landscape. In January 2021, two of ZOO’s major rivals announced they were planning to join forces, as Iyuno Media Group broke news of its intention to acquire SDI Media

SDI Media CEO Mark Howorth told Slator in August 2020 that he expected localization revenue declines of 10–15% over the 2020 calendar year. ZOO also asserted its belief that “its major competitors have experienced revenue declines” during the pandemic.

Although ZOO closed the 2020 calendar year with its shares flat (SlatorPro) from the start of the year, the company’s performance has been viewed favorably by investors in recent weeks. Shares in ZOO are currently trading 62% ahead of the start of 2021 and its market capitalization stands at around GBP 72m (USD 98m).